Mysterious Sulphur Smell Gathering At Sólheimajökull - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Mysterious Sulphur Smell Gathering At Sólheimajökull

Published November 22, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Art Bicnick

A strong odour of sulphur has been gathering at Sólheimajökull, but there is no clear answer regarding a possible cause for the stench, as scientists have not detected any signs of increasing volcanic activity in the area.

RÚV reports that the smell of sulphur is very powerful around Sólheimajökull, a glacier offshoot and popular tourist spot in Iceland.

The reason for the buildup of the odour has been attributed to a lower pressure system in the area and a lack of wind, but what is creating the smell in the first place is still a mystery.

The Icelandic Met Office issued a statement emphasising that there have been no significant seismic readings in the area, nor has the chemical composition of the water running off from it or the gas in the area indicated increased levels of sulphides or sulphates. The area is also not considered dangerous to visit.

One of the hidden dangerous of volcanic activity is sulphur dioxide, which can cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory system. While dangerous or even deadly in very high concentrations, typically it only poses a serious threat to the elderly, children, and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, and the current sulphur levels around Sólheimajökull have not caused any reported difficulties for visitors.

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